Students from Lublin

Ranata Yanisiv and Valeri Vachev

The inquiry was anonymous and was held among students from the University Maria Curie-Sklodovska in Lublin, Poland. People who took part in investigation aren’t Polish citizens – 6 persons are from Belarus, 5 from Ukraine, 1 from Kazakhstan. 5 of investigated students are women, 7 are men at the age between 18 and 25. All of them study different subjects: Polish language and culture in 1 year long teaching course, international relationship and Polish philology.

Interviewers Ranata Yanisiv and Valeri Vachev were students in the University of Lublin at the time of examination. Investigated persons are their colleagues. The results couldn’t be taken as a representative of all students’ adjustment and leanings in University.


Summary of the results

1. How would you define your identity? (Please mark the answers that suits best to your own feelings.)
a. National identity is most important for me. First and foremost I am Bulgarian (Turk, Greek, Jewish, Russian…).
b. Citizenship is most important for me. First and foremost I am citizen of Bulgaria, Grate Britain, etc.
c. My religion (confession) is most important for me. First and foremost I am Christian (Orthodox, Catholic, Muslim, Judean, etc.)
d. Family bonds are most important for me. First and foremost I am husband/wife, sun/daughter, father/mother.
e. My profession is most important for me. First and foremost I am.............. (Please fill in the gap.)
f. My generation (age) is most important for me. First and foremost I am teenager, mature man/woman, pensioner…
g. My gender is most important for me. First and foremost I am man, woman. I am homosexual and this is extremely important for me.

6 answers are a (national identity), 3 – d (family), 2 – b, 1 – f. A as a best possible answer was chosen from students from Belarus (3 men and 2 women) and from Kazakhstan – 1. Answers about citizenship (b) profession (e) and sex (g) were ignored.

2. Are you aware for the influences, forming your identity? Which are they?
A. my blood
B. my family
C. my education
D. the milieu in which I was raised/ in which I live now
E. something else (Please name it.)

This question provokes students to choose more than one of the given possibilities. 3 persons marked 2, 1 – 3. Dominating answer is b (family) fallowed by c (education) – 5, and d (the milieu) – 4. Answer a (my blood) was ignored.

 3. With what images (figures) you identify yourself? Which images (figures) and plots (histories) express your identity best? Do you see any connection between your musical preferences and your identity?

This and the following questions do not offer preliminary given possibilities but require explanation of own points of view. Predictably 4 students do not answer the question. Some of the investigated persons probably did not understand the translation of the question or the question itself is not enough clear.

The answers are:
Pippi Longstocking
I like Chopin’s music
My identity is the best expressed by famous persons in the field of art, literature and cinema. Bansky (British street graffiti artist), Juck Pallahniuk (writer) и Sergey Babkin (singer). I think that my identity is closely connected to my musical preferences… but not only.
The image of the nature in the movies and books
My family and friends
Rita Marley and Angelina Jolie
1) Migration; 2) Polish stork; 3) No.
I like pictures which depict nature, people and animals in vivid colors but not are abstract because I do not understand them. I think that my inner nature is the best explicated by the nature canvases that give me feeling of quietness and harmony of the spirit and provoke my child’s memories. I like different styles of music but prefer hip-hop and reggae to Disco polo music, retro and techno.

4. Are these images, figures, plots and histories part of some books, films or other narrative texts? Which are they?

The forth question get just 4 answers. Students found it difficult to answer the question because of its close connection with the former one. Answers tried to show the dependence between questions №3 and №4.

Yes, in 2 movies – Tyler Durden (Brad Pit in Figh Club) and in the field of literature (The Catcher in the Rye).
The image of the state-building and state independence represented in songs and war movies. (This is the answer of woman from Belarus which did not answer the former question.)
Yes, in the music and documentary.
Scenes in the books and movies but I do not remember which ones.

5. How will you define the role of your identity in your life? Does it helps you or is it an obstacle (and in what circumstances).

The question is close connected with national identity and got the standard answers with small nuances. There is just one abstention.


Always helps.
My identity always helps me – I am Belarusian and I am proud of it.
Help me to stand hard times.
Help me, give me confident hope.
Helps, if anything
Helps, especially when you live out of your country.
Neither embarrasses, nor helps.

6. Your identity is not a typical one. (You live in foreign ethnic/confessional milieu, your parents have different ethnic/confessional origin, your partner is different from you, your sexual preferences are not typical, etc.) What are the consequences of that?

The given answers are standard and laconic, similar to the answers given to the previous question. No one of the students claim that his/her identity is not “typical” and no one of them commented different (in accordance with enumerated indicators) marriage partner. It gives rice to think that “no typical identity” was understood mainly as a matter of sex than in any other sense – as a member of religious minority, or person, born from mixed (in ethnical or religious aspect) couple and so. Three students ignored the question.

Just good things, know more, try to understand other people.
I endeavor to not attach the importance to this but I always underline my identity.
It is not “untypical”.
Progress and exploration other cultures.
This is not embarrassing for me. [Answer 22 year old man from Belarus. It is hard to see what is “this” that does not embarrass him.]
My situation is normal.
That strengthen it. [It is not clear what does „that” mean.]
I live in a country in which different people are not treated in different way – I have never got any problems. [Man of Kazakhstan, having in mind Poland.]
It change that I do not leave off my traditions but I start to respect the traditions of other people.

7. You do not live in the town or village (region), where you were born and raised. What are the consequences of that?
A. the distance from my native place straighten my emotional bond with it
B. the distance from my native place fades my emotional bond with it

Nearly all students marked a as a preferable answer. Just one answer brings in nuance:
It does not influence at all.

8. When and where do you feel your identity most strongly?
A. at national feasts
B. in the church
C. at home
D. when I read books (newspapers), watching films (television)
E. listening to music (Please specify what kind of music.)
F. at sport matches (international, local)

All students which take part in the examination answered the question. Some students marked 2, one noted 3 of given possibilities. The most popular (which got 5 ticks) are answers b (the church) and c (at home), followed by a (national feasts) – 5; d (books, newspapers, movies, TV) and f (sport matches) got 2 ticks, 1 student marked e (music, but the genre is not pointed out).

No one of the students used the offer given in the last question.

9. Would you like to add something to these answers, concerning your identity?